Nauthúsagil ravine is the place where local people went for a romantic meeting in the old days. And if you have been there you understand. It is still one of the locals favourite places.
The ravine Nauthúsagil has formed by the river running through for a long time. The rock in the area is soft and therefore easy for the water to carve it and shape in a beautiful way. The ravine is narrow and has few Birch trees hanging over on the edge of the ravine. The ravine walls are covered by green moss.
On the way, through the ravine, you need to jump on rocks across the river and on the way you have chains to support. There are two waterfalls inside the Nauthúsagil. On small that you will walk or climb past and the other one at the end of the ravine about 20 meters high. To get back you need to go the same way you came.
The name of the ravine is related to a farm that was located by the ravine, called Nauthús. You can find the story about them below here.
I would recommend visiting Nauthúsagil in the morning or evening.
Once upon a time on the farm of Nauthús lived three brothers and one sister. Two of the brothers were heavy drinkers and violent. Their sister wanted to marry the farmer of Stóri-Dalur; the kind brother consented, but the other two swore they would kill her sweetheart if they could catch him. One day they met with the farmer of Stóri-Dalur by the Markarfljót river; they set upon him, but he got away across the river. The brothers followed, but being drunk they were swept away by the river and drowned.
After that the ghosts of the brothers haunted the farmhouse at Nauthús, rampaging around the place and smashing everything indoors so that no one could live there.
There was a church at Stóri-Dalur, and one evening when the farmer was inside the church, tidying up, one of the ghosts came up behind him and knocked him down. Before the ghost could kill the farmer, he said “Don’t kill me. I’ve got something to tell you.” The ghost hesitated, and the farmer asked him where his brother was. He replied that he was outside: having been such a wicked person in life, he could not enter the church.
The farmer told the ghost that a girl in Stóri-Dalur was pregnant by him: the brothers must first kill the girl, as the child she was carrying was fated to put down the ghosts. Once the girl was out of the way, the farmer told the ghost, they were welcome to finish him off. The farmer promised to be in the church the following evening.
The farmer then went to fetch the girl and took her into the church, where she stood inside the altar rail. He then sprinkled holy water all over the church, except for a narrow strip up the aisle. The following evening the ghost returned to the church and walked up the aisle, which had not been sprinkled with holy water.
The farmer followed him, sprinkling holy water. When the ghost reached the altar rail he could go no farther, and when he turned to kill the farmer he could not go back the way he came, because of the holy water. Then the farmer splashed holy water on the ghost, and he was so taken aback that he sank down through the floor where he stood,
The farmer made the mark of the cross on the floor where the ghost had vanished, and for a long time, that cross could be seen on the floor of Stóri-Dalur Church. As for the other ghost, his brother, he went back to Nauthús, where he caused such uproar that no one could live there. It is said that Nauthús is still haunted today.
Nauthúsagil ravine is about 7 kilometres away from Eyvindarholt Hill House and Cabins. You drive road number 249, Þórmerkurvegur for about 6 kilometres, there you turn right by the sign Nauthúsagil. If you have a small car then I recommend you leave it by the road and walk to the ravine, if you have a jeep you could be able to drive the trail to the ravine.
Nauthúsagil Location: GPS: 63° 40.155' -19° 51.480'
Difficulty level: Easy
Walking distance from the parking to the ravine (one way): 300 m
Estimated walking time (one way): 20 to 30 minutes